Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum

A Museum Relocation & Storage Project

The Client

Founded during World War I, Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a family of five national museums serving as a memorial and record of the wartime efforts and sacrifices of the people living in Great Britain and the Commonwealth. Upon its opening in 1920, IWM has continuously extended its focus and provided insight into people’s experiences of WWI, WWII and subsequent military engagements. The museums are devoted to depicting the causes, course and consequences of war in the most powerful way possible. 

The Project

IWM had a requirement for the specialised packing, crate hire, relocation and storage of 3611 linear metres of films, videos, sound files and 6 delicate art friezes. The project was divided into 2 phases and carried out over the span of 4 weeks, taking place at IWM Duxford (Cambridgeshire, CB22 4QR).

The Solution

The main objective of Edward Baden Specialist Movers was to execute the relocation with utmost care and dedication to minimise disruption. With over 20 years of experience under our belts, we thoroughly planned the project to ensure a seamless transition between buildings, into storage and back to the new location. 

The Process

Phase 1

Prior to the relocation commencement date, Edward Baden’s Supervisor had a meeting with the Client Representative to receive final briefing and conducted a building condition audit. Protective materials were installed to ensure protection during packing and transportation. 

For each of the art friezes, a customised crate was carefully crafted by our specialist movers. Once the items were nicely packed, we signed off the IWM’s representative and transported the pieces back to Cube Self Storage’s facility. The art friezes will be preserved in our storage facility for approximately 6 to 12 months. 

Phase 2

The packing team arrived on-site with labels, a range of removal crates and library trolleys to pack and label the films, videos and sound files. 180 linear metres were moved per day using 1m lidded crates, 1m wide 3-shelf library trolleys, and 60cm lidded crates for the heavy stock from the 1st floors. As IWM’s shelf widths are approx. 87cm, Edward Baden would place foam spacers at one end to ensure non-movement in the metre crates during relocation. Each crate was labelled in accordance with our professional packing methodology, with one label outside the plastic crate and another inside. The second label acted as a second reference point in case the outside label was displaced. Afterwards, the crates were packed into stacks of three ready for transfer. 

Meanwhile, the packed and labelled crates were transported across the new building, placed as per the designated floor plans and unpacked following labelling of bay and shelf locations. If spacing was required, our specialist movers would take instruction from the museum team in regards to leaving a free or empty shelf in-between section. Each day about 207 metre of crates were relocated. At the end of each day, Edward Baden Senior Supervisor would debrief the museum team to track the sections that were packed, transferred and unpacked. 

Project Highlights

Edward Baden worked closely with IWM to guarantee a smooth relocation. We arranged on-site supervision and constantly reviewed activities and deadlines with the site Project Manager. The sign-off of the project only happened when everything was fully completed. All unwanted items were cleared and environmentally disposed of. 

Packing Methodologies

  • Any stock which sit on the 1st floor would be sequentially packed into our Standard 60cm removal crates due to the weight during movement.
  • All stock on IWM’s standard 87cm shelf would be placed into metre library crates, with foam spaces being filled at the end to stop stock movement.
  • Ground-floor to ground-floor relocations within the same museum site would be put into 1m wide library trolleys for a quicker process. We also prepared some of our larger computer crates for any oversized stock. 

Additional Information

Did you know that you can fly one of the original vintage aircraft at IWM Duxford? Experience the thrill of flying for yourself, whether it's a quick flight around our historic airfield and museum or a sightseeing flight over London or Cambridge in the stunning art deco De Havilland Dragon Rapide.

Find out more about flight experiences and trial flying lessons here.